Historic Post Office Building History
The building at 1 East Avenue in Lockport, NY, was originally constructed as the city’s main US Post Office. Designed by Supervising Architect of the Treasury Department James Knox Taylor and completed in 1904, the Lockport Post Office is an outstanding example of early 20th century public architecture in New York State and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The three-story, red brick and terra cotta building combines Beaux Arts massing with sculptural detail inspired by classical and Renaissance design. No expense was spared on building materials in an era before austerity budgeting and standardized design were adopted by the US Treasury for public buildings after 1915.
Of special interest in the former post office is the second floor federal courtroom, which retains its original architectural detail and light fixtures. Postal facilities of this era were often combined with federal courts. The court at 1 East Avenue was used only into the 1930’s; since then the courtroom has been closed.
In 1932, a 3,800 square foot one-story addition was constructed on the northern side of the original building near the brick loading dock.
Post office activities in the building ceased in March 1991, at which point it was put up for sale. In 1992 the building was purchased by Lockport couple Michael and Patricia George, who spent the next five years refurbishing it and readying it for commercial tenants. The Georges owned the former post office for almost fifteen years when the death of Mr. George made it no longer feasible for his wife and sons. In 2006 the building was purchased by former Lockport native, Steven Talarico who managed it with limited success until 2015, when it was purchased by an affiliate of Iskalo Development Corp.
Since its purchase of the Historic Post Office, Iskalo Development has stabilized its exterior and replaced one of two red Medina sandstone entry stairways. The company has continued to lease the first floor to current as well as new tenants; the second and third floors remain vacant pending building redevelopment. Iskalo Development is now preparing to commence a comprehensive renovation of the Historic Post Office Building including meticulous restoration of the building’s historic features and modernization of the building’s mechanical systems. When complete, the Historic Post Office will offer a complementary mix of uses including boutique shops and commercial studios, prestigious executive office suites and a dynamic restaurant space. The building is ideally located in the heart of downtown Lockport, directly across from the Historic Palace Theater and within a short walk from the Cornerstone Ice Arena, local area shops and restaurants.